Two weeks ago, I wrote about the why the Twins’ offense was underachieving. At the time, Minnesota was scoring one run fewer per game this year than last year (roughly 4 compared to 5 a year ago), and I concluded that home runs were the primary culprit.
Simply put, the Twins weren’t hitting as many home runs as they did last season– and the ones they were hitting tended to be in the wrong situations. Of the 48 homers they hit through the first 50 games, 32 were solo, 14 were 2-run shots, plus one each of three-run and grand slam.
That amounted to 1.34 runs per game on homers — about two-thirds of a run fewer than last year, accounting for two-thirds of their offensive problem.
Two weeks later, I can only assume that every single player on the Twins, as well as coaches and front-office folks, read my post with great interest and enthusiasm.
“Yes, Rand is right!” they likely shouted in unison. “We need to start hitting home runs, and hitting them at more opportune times. Why didn’t we think of that! Brilliant!”
Or … maybe it was just a case of a significant (but still sort of small) sample size, and there was bound to be a natural uptick because that’s the way these things work.
Whatever the case, here’s what has happened since then:
The Twins have played 13 games, scoring 69 runs — an average of 5.3 per game.
They’ve hit a whopping 20 home runs in that span, and 10 of them — a full 50 percent — have come with men on base. Of those 10, there have been five two-run shots, four three-run shots and Tuesday night’s grand slam for Ehire Adrianza that fueled Minnesota’s 6-4 win over the Tigers.
That means they’ve scored 36 of their 69 runs on homers over the last 13 games, and home runs have accounted for 2.77 runs per game — about 1.4 runs more per game than they were getting via homers through the first 50 games. Not coincidentally, the Twins are scoring about 1.3 runs more overall in the last 13.
That’s not to say the Twins’ offense is permanently fixed, but it is to say that in the last two weeks, they’ve reversed their early-season home run trends in a big way.